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Jess is a marketer with a Harvard MBA. The platform is about to launch and it is still unclear how users will respond, but the Deckingers are betting big that they have what it takes to fill a major void in the online dating industry: Just this year, the world has seen exactly how male-dominated the culture at these dating startups can be.

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Tinder, one of the hottest dating apps on the market, had a female cofounder, Whitney Wolfe, but she filed a sexual harassment suit against the company after receiving abusive text messages from her cofounder. The suit was recently settled.

No matter how many focus groups male entrepreneurs might carry out, it is possible to miss subtle but fundamental qualities about what women need. And women are noticing. I spoke with dozens of female online daters who told me about various shades of discomfort they had experienced while on these sites. Yet, given that more than one third of U. Kate says that the anonymity on these websites means that men often behave in inappropriate ways, saying things they would never dare say to a woman in a public place. I sure know I feel gross when that happens.

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Talia tells me that while men can say they are interested in short-term relationships, it can be uncomfortable for a woman to say she is interested in dating casually. This mimics offline dating scenarios where a couple are introduced by a mutual friend. There can be more accountability when a third party is involved. It makes all men look bad.


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Dating apps provide a dazzling array of potential connections. They also make the act of exploring and choosing potential dates a satisfying and fun process swipe right, swipe left, anyone? The presence of choice creates a perception of control, increasing enjoyment. Researchers have long engaged users through participatory methods like co-designing and cultural probes that invoke a sense of control.

How might we make these research methods more immersive and engaging? In the near future, we will use it as an ethnographic tool to engage users and get their direct feedback in contextually relevant ways. Participants can virtually interact with a physician. Instead of looking at blueprints or sketches of a waiting room, patients can walk through one in VR and modify its appearance and layout to suit their needs and preferences.


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  • These immersive experiences could provide design researchers with valuable insights that might not be readily apparent using more conventional research methods. Sites like eHarmony consistently advertise how a previously lonely person meets the love of his life once joining. Market researchers are also examining the average length of relationships that result from different dating apps.

    Receipts are secretly really bad–why are we still using them?

    The research phase of design is crucial—it ensures that products address real human and business problems. Yet while designers can easily show their value through the products they create, design researchers have traditionally experienced more difficulty quantifying the value of our work. Like in online dating, capturing the right metrics as we conduct design research is imperative. Design Emoji Major No. Your Emoji Life Coach This week, before the holidays come and your issues get way too big for small emoji, Zoe Mendelson plays shrink.

    A new app called Carrot Dating has stirred up a lot of controversy.

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    But is bribing would-be dates with gifts really all that different from the real world? But some online singles spots are seedier than others. Impact Impact Receipts are secretly really bad—why are we still using them? Impact Which cities make it easiest to commute without a car?